Today, the author who is enjoying the spotlight is Mr. K. Hari Kumar. Let us proceed with learning more about him.
BNI: So, What all you have written / published till date?
KHK: My first novel When Strangers meet was published by Srishti Publishers in May 2013. My first book was loosely inspired by events that occurred in my life. It primarily talks about the struggle and ego clashes between a teenager and his parents. How the lessons learnt in life by a total stranger can change the track of another stranger’s life. My second novel That Frequent Visitor follows a very similar narrative structure, however, it is a commercial thriller based in three different cities and two different eras. Unlike Generation Gap, I have tried to talk about pro-feminism & rationalism in this book.
BNI: What inspired you to write your first book and or this book?
KHK: Events of my own life and a chance meeting with a Stranger in the Delhi Metro.
BNI: A 30 word tagline for your book.
KHK: Sometimes All It Takes Is A Stranger’s Tale, To Bring Your Life Back On Track.
BNI: How did you come up with the title?
KHK: Well, the working title of the book was The Metro Station; however, I had to make changes according to my publisher’s suggestion.
BNI: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
KHK: Anyone who wishes to read a book that entertains and inspires with the same stroke can read my book. I like to write stories that pertain to certain vices that are deep rooted in our society.
BNI: Who is your favourite and least favourite character? What makes them so?
KHK: Every character is a manifestation of my own self, for they are all products of my mind. Therefore, I keep a neutral perception towards every character. But then, to err is human, right? I love Hussain Ansari from When Strangers Meet.. for his dedication and determination.
BNI: Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
KHK: In both my novels, the protagonist is a good hearted snob who narrates his story to a complete Stranger, thus laying the plot for the book.
BNI: Is there a message in your book/novel that you want readers to grasp?
KHK: In both my stories, I have tried to convey strong messages, which (for obvious reasons) I would want the reader to know by reading it.
BNI: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
KHK: I read from my readers regularly and I encourage them to post letters instead of email to bring back a practice that is facing the danger of extinction.
BNI: When and how did you decide to become a writer? Do you write full-time or part-time?
KHK: Writing is my passion, full time or part time, that might be a criterion for others. As a kid, I used to get fascinated by tales that my mother read to me in the afternoons after lunch. The fascination inspired me, although it took me 21 years and few phases of depression to actually pen down an entire novel. I believe that the depression fueled determination to write.
BNI: Which writers inspire you?
KHK: Dan Brown, Albert Camus, Stephen King, David Baldacci, Paulo Coelho, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Roald Dahl, Betrand Russel, S Radhakrishnan.
BNI: What draws you to this genre?
KHK: You must have already noticed from my answer to the previous question that I have a strong inclination towards dark commercial themes and philosophy.
BNI: According to you, What is the hardest thing about writing?
KHK: To complete anything one needs patience & perseverance, and most of the times you run out of them, which makes it hard to reach one’s goal. The same applies to writing.
BNI: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
KHK: To keep writing.
BNI: What will be your one favourite tip to get through the writer’s block?
KHK: Two words : Move On!
BNI: What are your thoughts on book series?
KHK: Well, I have just published a graphic novel called Martin : The First Chapter on Kindle & Google Play. It is part of a trilogy and also Asia’s First Live Frame Capture Graphic Novel. As for my novels, I like to bring back characters from my previous novels in cameo roles, something I have picked up from Paulo Coelho’s books.
BNI: Any advice for writers budding or established?
KHK: Keep writing.
BNI: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
KHK: Getting published is an easy task, but getting published by a reputed by a Good publisher is a challenge. So, in that regard I feel lucky that a renowned name like Srishti Publishers who’s books have continuously featured in bestseller lists on multiple occasions. Obviously, I had to face rejections as well, nevertheless, it is part and parcel of the package. Try your best to take rejection in a positive light and that can only be done by dimming ones ego.
BNI: What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why? KHK: I loved to write the final part of both the novels, that is the climax. The ultimate challenge prior to completing a story. The part where the protagonist narrates his story (The flashback) is when I take my readers to different cultures; Madras of the 90s in WSM & Calcutta of the 50s in my second book.
BNI: Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it?
KHK: Intellectually one learns a lot while writing a quality story, especially from recce research one conducts before or while writing. Realizing the powers vested in God is an added bonus limited to writers.
BNI: Any amusing story about marketing this book, so far
KHK: The usual ones.
BNI: What do you think about – What does your protagonist think about you?
KHK: What does human being think about God? She is born ignorant, and ignorance leads her to belief, belief leads her to desire, desire leads her to disappointments, disappointments lead her to rejection, rejection leads to rebellion, rebellion leads to chaos, and the process is reversed taking her back to ignorance and non-existence. That’s THE END of the story.
BNI: Do you think book cover an important role in sales?
KHK: Yes, it plays a pivotal role in sales. In my first book I decided to go for a colorful artwork which attracted youngsters, but the cover didn’t attract serious readers or adults.
BNI: ebook, pdf, mobi, kindle or printed hardcover book, what’s your pick?
KHK: Printed book on any given day. Our generation is used to feeling the coarse surface of printed paper with the tip of the finger. But ebooks have certain advantages too, and I use them when I can’t find printed copies.
BNI: We thank you for sharing your thoughts and views with our reader family. May you achieve success.